By Talia Bondelli, DTR
I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar for years and it seems to keep the doctor away! Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is well-known as a home remedy with many health benefits, but what exactly is it? ACV is basically apple juice with yeast in it.1 The yeast goes through fermentation and turns the apple’s sugar into alcohol and then bacteria turns the alcohol into acetic acid.2 Acetic acid gives vinegar the strong smell and bitter taste!1 It is popular to add ACV to a glass of water, tea, or salad dressing to reap the health benefits. There are some health benefits but there are also some myths about ACV with no scientific evidence.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
May Promote Weight Loss
ACV may make you feel full so you eat less throughout the day.3 In one study, participants consumed 200-275 calories less than normal per day after drinking ACV after a large carbohydrate meal.3 However, it is necessary to note that this was a small sample size of 11 healthy participants.3 In another study, it was found that acetic acid in ACV suppresses appetite, however, this study had limitations as well.4 There was a small sample size of 12 participants and feelings of satiety were subjective.4
May Reduce Cholesterol Levels
It has been found that ACV may lower cholesterol. In a scientific study, ACV reduced the LDL cholesterol, or the “bad” cholesterol, as well as the triglyceride levels.5 However, this study was done on rats and has not been tested on humans yet.5As always, talk to your doctor before adding something new into your diet, especially if you have a medical condition.
May Lower Blood Sugar
ACV has been shown to maintain blood sugar, even in those without diabetes.6 In a meta-analysis, which combines the results of multiple scientific studies, the results showed that vinegar can improve glycemic control.6 It lowered insulin and postprandial blood sugar levels in both healthy individuals and those with poor glycemic control.6 In another study in those with type 2 diabetes, it was found that 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime may reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning by 4%.7 Note that this study was a small size of 11 people.7
Myths About Apple Cider Vinegar
May Eliminate Bad Breath
Consumers have said that the acetic acid in ACV has antibacterial properties, which means it kills bacteria and viruses. So when we drink ACV, we can kill the bacteria that causes bad breath! It may work for you but it hasn’t been thoroughly researched. Make sure to dilute it with water when you gargle it because it can erode the enamel on your teeth.
May Clear A Stuffy Nose
Many people claim that ACV kills bacteria, thus, preventing germ growth, which could lead to a stuffy nose. However, this hasn’t been scientifically proven.
May Soothe A Sore Throat
Consumers have thought that germs are killed off by the acetic acid in your throat, so as soon as they feel a sore throat, they start drinking ACV up to 3 times a day. Once again, this hasn’t been backed up by scientific evidence.
How to Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Always remember to shake the bottle well and dilute it!2 Also, talk to your doctor before using it to treat a condition.
- Add 1 tablespoon ACV and 1 tablespoon of honey to a cup of warm water.2
- Add 1-2 tablespoons ACV to a cup of cold water.2
- Add ¼ cup ACV to ¼ cup of warm water.2
My Favorite ACV Salad Dressing Recipe
Author: Marina Delio8
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Place all ingredients into a small bowl or jar.
- Stir until well combined.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Štornik, A., Skok, B., & Trček, J. Comparison of Cultivable Acetic Acid Bacterial Microbiota in Organic and Conventional Apple Cider Vinegar. Food Technology and Biotechnology. 2016; 54(1): 113-119.
- Ho, C., Lazim, A., Fazry, S., Zaki, U., & Lim, S. Varieties, production, composition and health benefits of vinegars: A review. Food Chemistry. 2017; 221: 1621-1630.
- Johnston, C. S. & Buller, A., J. Vinegar and Peanut Products as Complementary Foods to Reduce Postprandial Glycemia. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2005; 105(12): 1939 – 1942.
- Östman, E., Granfeldt, Y., Persson, L., & Björck, I. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005; 59(9): 983–988.
- Budak, N., Kumbul Doguc, D., Savas, C., Seydim, A., Kok Tas, T., Ciris, M., & Guzel-Seydim, Z. Effects of Apple Cider Vinegars Produced with Different Techniques on Blood Lipids in High-Cholesterol-Fed Rats. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2011; 59(12): 6638-6644.
- Shishehbor F., Mansoori A., & Shirani F. Vinegar consumption can attenuate postprandial glucose and insulin responses; a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2017; 127:1–9.
- White, A., Johnston, C. Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care.2007; 30(11): 2814-2815.
- Delio, M. Perfect Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Retrieved January 21, 2019, from https://www.yummymummykitchen.com/2017/11/apple-cider-vinaigrette.html